Census Bureau releases group quarters data

Census Bureau released the Advance Group Quarters data, and our free tools make it easy to use to identify prison populations in redistricting data.

by Peter Wagner, April 22, 2011

The Census Bureau released the Advance Group Quarters yesterday — earlier than expected — and many have been eagerly awaiting this data so that they can identify prison populations in the redistricting data and avoid prison-based gerrymandering.

The Prison Policy Initiative, in partnership with Demos, issued a press release about the Advance Group Quarters File yesterday. A copy of the press release can be found below.

Late last night, the Prison Policy Initiative finished translating the Bureau’s data in to some user-friendlier formats, including:

  • A national shapefile with all of the group quarters data
  • Block level tables of the correctional facilities searchable by county
  • Google maps of the blocks that contain facilities
  • Connecting the new census data to a database of annotations of each of the 5,393 blocks that contain some kind of correctional facility.

These tools are available at http://www.prisonersofthecensus.org/data/. Our next conference call workshop to discuss how to use this data to avoid prison-based gerrymandering will be at 10am eastern on Tuesday April 26.

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